EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.14.07

On Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myhrvold, and Other Patent Trolls

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, FUD, GNU/Linux, IBM, Law, Microsoft, OpenOffice, Patents at 12:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trolls abound, system abused. OIN to the rescue?

A month ago we mentioned a patent troll bigger than Acacia, which had just been identified. The Microsoft connections to Acacia’s are too hard to dismiss [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] and the following troll-to-be is no exception.

In two consecutive days, The Wall Street Journal presented two different answers. The first is not surprising: Intellectual Ventures, the brainchild of ex-Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold. It’s now out “to raise as much as $1 billion to help develop and patent inventions, many of them from universities in Asia.”

It is curious that universities outside the US are mentioned. Japan seems to have accepted software patents, but it is one among very few countries to be on that boat (probably the only one in Asia). Mexico has always been edgy. Groklaw discovered a very interesting newsletter from last year and it speaks about the Mexican patent legislation.

Besides, CAFTA also requires the acceptance of any patents granted by the US Patent Office, including patents on ideas applied to software, mathematical algorithms, living matter and so on, and extends the copyright monopoly to at least 70 years past the death of the author.

An interesting topic to review regarding FTAs [Free Trade Agreements] is how, in several cases, signing such an agreement places the legal norms in a country in check. For example, in Mexico today there is an important confusion regarding software patents that did not exist before the FTA: Mexican patent legislation explicitly states that computer programs are not patentable (just like corresponding legislation in Argentina and Brazil). Nevertheless, the Mexican Patent Office has been granting software patents, in accordance with the FTA with USA, which brings a major uncertainty to the Mexican community.

There is a coordinated attempt to successfully push for similar confusion and mess in other countries [1, 2, 3]. There is heavy lobbying involved and some software patents actually ‘trickle’ through the European legal system. Consider Britain With new laws established, scaring businesses outside the United States, for example, would be easier. Remember accusations of a ‘patent terrorism’ culture. It’s all about fear (perception).

Related articles to consider:

What if this ever become global phenomenon?

Microsoft’s appointed 'patent terrorist' recently quit his role in the company. This came just a year after Martin Taylor, the man behind the “Get the Facts” propaganda, escaped the company abruptly (and without even giving a reason).

Upon Bill Hilf’s departure from his position, let’s recall some of his ‘greatest hits’.

Here is what he said about ODF/OOXML (article pulled after a long time, probably because of Microsoft’s pressure, which Hilf himself talked about at the time).

Hilf accused his former employers, IBM, of starting a standards war simply because they wanted a part of the Office market

Does Hilf endorse the OOXML frauds that we still see? Does he approve sabotaging the typically-peaceful process of standards body in order to pass proprietary formats as though they were ‘open’?

Hilf did not shy away from the cameras when Microsoft attacked GNU/Linux and OpenOffice.org with baseless FUD and accusations. Among the things he said at the time:

“We would like to strike similar patent deals with all the Linux vendors, but we had to start somewhere,” said Bill Hilf.

No Patents in Linux

He then wondered why people hated him.

Hilf’s response was… priceless. “I get a lot of e-mail.” “People like to subscribe me to crazy newsletters and spam.”

Hilf is no longer at that position which he held. All I can personally say is: good riddance. Remember the article from the Bangkok Post (article pulled):

“The Free Software movement is dead. Linux doesn’t exist in 2007. Even Linus has got a job today.” Controversial statements from the head of Microsoft’s Linux Labs, Bill Hilf.

”OIN is intended to make the whole broken patent system collapse, as it should.“A regular reader of this site, having read some articles on the assorted patent trolls [1, 2, 3], wrote to inform us about a techdirt.com article. The article discusses Intellectual Ventures, on which he has commented. Since IANAL (neither is he, I assume), we wish to know whether organisations like OIN (Open Innovation Network) can use the method he has described to protect GNU/Linux entities from patent trolls such as Intellectual Ventures.

My own answer is that it’s interesting scenario. Can OIN ever be counter-sued at all? Therein lies the strength of patent trolls which have patents but no actual products. They are like an amorphous malicious spirit. You can’t take a swing at them because there is no physical entity (product).

A friend recently told me about an idea which OIN supporters have in mind. OIN is intended to make the whole broken patent system collapse, as it should. Patent trolls don’t want it to collapse. OIN, on the other hand, wants patent trolling to end. If shattering the system is the means, then so be it. It renders the system obsolete and pointless.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. eet said,

    November 14, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Gravatar

    Don forget Novell i sone of the most important members and patent-donors of ION.

    Just in case you forgot, as you didn’t mention it.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an abusive Internet troll

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/11/2018: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta, Mesa 18.2.5, VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  2. Berkheimer or No Berkheimer, Software Patents Remain Mostly Unenforceable in the United States and the Supreme Court is Fine With That

    35 U.S.C. § 101, which is based on cases like Alice and Mayo, offers the 'perfect storm' against software patents; it doesn't look like any of that will change any time soon (if ever)



  3. Ignoring and Bashing Courts: Is This the Future of Patent Offices in the West?

    Andrei Iancu, who is trying to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101 while Trump ‘waters down’ SCOTUS (which delivered Alice), isn’t alone; António Campinos, the new President of the EPO, is constantly promoting software patents (which European courts reject, citing the EPC) and even Australia’s litigation ‘industry’ is dissenting against Australian courts that stubbornly reject software patents



  4. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Figure Out How to Stop PTAB or Prevent US Patent Quality From Ever Improving

    Improvements are being made to US patents because of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which amends/culls/pro-actively rejects (at application phases) bad patents; but the likes of Andrei Iancu cannot stand that because they're patent maximalists, who personally gain from an over-saturation of patents



  5. Links 15/11/2018: Zentyal 6.0, Deepin 15.8, Thunderbird Project Hiring

    Links for the day



  6. A Question of Debt: António Campinos, Lexology, Law Gazette, and Sam Gyimah

    Ineptitude in the media which dominates if not monopolises UPC coverage means that laws detrimental to everyone but patent lawyers are nowadays being pushed even by ministers (not just those whose clandestine vote is used/bought to steal democracy overnight)



  7. Science Minister Sam Gyimah and the EPO Are Eager to Attack Science by Bringing Patent Trolls to Europe/European Union and the United Kingdom

    Team UPC has managed to indoctrinate or hijack key positions, causing those whose job is to promote science to actually promote patent trolls and litigation (suppressing science rather than advancing it)



  8. USF Revisits EPO Abuses, Highlighting an Urgent Need for Action

    “Staff Representation Disciplinary Cases” — a message circulated at the end of last week — reveals the persistence of union-busting agenda and injustice at the EPO



  9. Links 14/11/2018: KDevelop 5.3, Omarine 5.3, Canonical Not for Sale

    Links for the day



  10. Second Day of EPOPIC: Yet More Promotion of Software Patents in Europe in Defiance of Courts, EPC, Parliament and Common Sense

    Using bogus interpretations of the EPC — ones that courts have repeatedly rejected — the EPO continues to grant bogus/fake/bunk patents on abstract ideas, then justifies that practice (when the audience comes from the litigation ‘industry’)



  11. Allegations That António Campinos 'Bought' His Presidency and is Still Paying for it

    Rumours persist that after Battistelli had rigged the election in favour of his compatriot nefarious things related to that were still visible



  12. WIPO Corruption and Coverup Mirror EPO Tactics

    Suppression of staff representatives and whistleblowers carries on at WIPO and the EPO; people who speak out about abuses are themselves being treated like abusers



  13. Links 13/11/2018: HPC Domination (Top 500 All GNU/Linux) and OpenStack News

    Links for the day



  14. The USPTO and EPO Pretend to Care About Patent Quality by Mingling With the Terms “Patent” and “Quality”

    The whole "patent quality" propaganda from EPO and USPTO management continues unabated; they strive to maintain the fiction that quality rather than money is their prime motivator



  15. Yannis Skulikaris Promotes Software Patents at EPOPIC, Defending the Questionable Practice Under António Campinos

    The reckless advocacy for abstract patents on mere algorithms from a new and less familiar face; the EPO is definitely eager to grant software patents and it explains to stakeholders how to do it



  16. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is Working for Patent Trolls and Patent Maximalists

    The patent trolls' propagandists are joining forces and pushing for a patent system that is hostile to science, technology, and innovation in general (so as to enable a bunch of aggressive law firms to tax everybody)



  17. Team UPC, Fronting for Patent Trolls From the US, is Calling Facts “Resistance”

    The tactics of Team UPC have gotten so tastelessly bad and its motivation so shallow (extortion in Europe) that one begins to wonder why these people are willing to tarnish everything that's left of their reputation



  18. The Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) Will Spread the Berkheimer Lie While Legal Certainty Associated With Patents Remains Low and Few Lawsuits Filed

    New figures regarding patent litigation in the United States (number of lawsuits) show a decrease by about a tenth in just one year; there's still no sign of software patents making any kind of return/rebound in the United States, contrary to lies told by the litigation 'industry' (those who profit from frivolous lawsuits/threats)



  19. Links 12/11/2018: Linux 4.20 RC2, Denuvo DRM Defeated Again

    Links for the day



  20. Automation of Searches Will Not Solve the Legitimacy Problem Caused by Patents Lust

    The false belief that better searches and so-called 'AI' can miraculously assess patents will simply drive/motivate bad decisions and already steers bad management towards patent maximalism (presumption of examination/validation where none actually exists)



  21. The Federal Circuit and PTAB Are Not Slowing Down; Patent Maximalists Claim It's 'Harassment' to Question a Patent's Validity

    There’s no sign of stopping when it comes to harassment of judges and courts; those who make a living from patent threats and litigation do anything conceivable to stop the ‘bloodbath’ of US patents which were never supposed to have been granted in the first place



  22. Patent Maximalists Will Latch Onto Return Mail v US Postal Service in an Effort to Weaken or Limit Post-Grant Reviews of US Patents

    An upcoming case, dealing with what governments can and cannot do with/to patents (specifically the US government and US patents), interests the litigation 'industry' because it loathes reviews of low-quality and/or controversial patents (these reviews discourage litigation or stop lawsuits early on in the cycle)



  23. Guest Post: EPO Spins Censorship of Staff Representation

    Another concrete example of Campinos' cynical story-telling



  24. Andrei Iancu and Laura Peter Are Two Proponents of Patent Trolls at the Top of the USPTO

    Patent offices do not seem to care about the law, about the courts, about judges and so on; all they care about is money (and litigation costs) and that’s a very major problem



  25. The Patent 'Industry' Wants Incitations and Feuds, Not Innovation and Collaboration

    The litigation giants and their drones keep insisting that they're interested in helping scientists; but sooner or later the real (productive) industry learns to kick them to the curb and work together instead of suing



  26. EPO 'Outsourcing' Rumours

    The EPO advertises jobs in Prague and Lisbon; this leads to speculations less than a year after António Campinos sent EU-IPO jobs to India (for cost reduction)



  27. Links 11/11/2018: Bison 3.2.1 and FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 4

    Links for the day



  28. Pro-Litigation Front Groups Like CIPA and Team UPC Control the EPO, Which Shamelessly Grants Software Patents

    With buzzwords and hype like "insurtech", "fintech", "blockchains" and "AI" the EPO (and to some degree the USPTO as well) looks to allow a very wide range of software patents; the sole goal is to grant millions of low-quality patents, creating unnecessary litigation in Europe



  29. Latest Loophole: To Get Software Patents From the EPO One Can Just Claim That They're 'on a Car'

    The EPO has a new 'study' (accompanied by an extensive media/PR campaign) that paints software as "SDV" if it runs on a car, celebrating growth of such software patents



  30. The Huge Cost of Wrongly-Granted European Patents, Recklessly Granted by the European Patent Office (EPO)

    It took 4 years for many thousands of people to have just one patent of Monsanto/Bayer revoked; what does that say about the impact of erroneous patent awards?


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts